Agonist potency differentiates G protein activation and Ca2+ signalling by the orexin receptor type 1


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Abstract

The G protein coupling characteristics of a flag epitope-tagged orexin receptor type 1 (OX1R) was investigated in HEK293 cells. Immunoprecipitation of the OX1R and immunoblotting revealed interactions with Gq/G11 proteins as well as with Gs and Gi proteins. Stimulation with orexin-A did not affect the ability of the OX1R to coprecipitate Gq/G11 proteins, but it robustly elevated the intracellular concentration of Ca2+, [Ca2+]i. No changes in cAMP levels could be detected upon receptor stimulation. To get further insight into the functional correlation of G protein activation and Ca2+ signalling, we used baculovirus transduction to express chimeric G proteins, containing the Gαs protein backbone with various Gα donor sequences (Gαs/x) at the N and C termini, and measured cAMP as functional output. The Gαs/x chimeric proteins with Gα11(Gαq) and Gα16 structure in the C terminus were stimulated by the OX1R. Concentration-response curves with Gαs/16 revealed an agonist potency correlation between G protein activation and the elevation of [Ca2+]i via discharge of intracellular Ca2+ stores, a feature also recognized for the muscarinic M3 receptor. However, in contrast to the M3 receptor, the OX1R elevated [Ca2+]i via influx from extracellular space at about 30-fold lower agonist concentration. The results suggest that the OX1R is linked to influx of Ca2+ through a signal pathway independent of Gq/G11 protein activation.

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